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Sister Mine

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,844 ratings  ·  199 reviews
Shae-Lynn Penrose drives a cab in a town where no one needs a cab—but plenty of people need rides. A former police officer with a closet full of miniskirts, a recklessly sharp tongue, and a tendency to deal with men by either beating them up or taking them to bed, she has spent years carving out a life for herself and her son in Jolly Mount, Pennsylvania, the tiny coal-min ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,844 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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2 stars =It was just OK.
Her Back Roads and Angels Burning were much better.

I already spent a lot of time listening to this so won't spend much time on the review. I thought this would be about sisters and although it was that, just as the story got interesting it would meander into one side story after another. It took a long time for it to get into the meat of the story and by that time my opinion of the narrator, Shae - Lynn, could not have gone any lower. And we don't really get to know why s
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel was a VERY light read...as in: no thinking required. But it was entertaining in a sassy, "Lifetime Movie" sort-of way. I finished it in about a day.
Shae-Lynn was the only character that was fully developed. All the other characters were superficial and marginal to the actual plot, yet important to the telling of Shae-Lynn's story and her current state of mind. The story was definitely plot-driven: clever and engaging. But I couldn't help but feel a bit cheated by the ending, as it wra
Bill Khaemba
A man spends his whole life trying to prove his worth to others. A woman spends her life trying to prove her worth to herself <\b>


Finally read this book, its been on my tbr shelf for the longest time.
It was in itself a good book with powerful themes, that made me have a greater perspective on victims of traumatic experiences such as Rape, Domestic violence etc. Shae-Lynn(protagonist) Strong, independent and such a well drawn character made the book for
Tonya Lucas
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was surprising awesome. I really enjoyed it and the plot was wild. I never could do what Shae-Lynn’s sister did for a living. A very eye opener to things that go on in other parts of America. Actually all over America.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have owned this book for a long time and was initially interested in it because I had read two others by this author and they were pretty good. This one was a big disappointment. ShaeLynn was a mess of a character and I just couldn't care about her or any of her issues. Very disfunctional. I'm just glad to be done. ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Warren County Public Libraries chose Tawnie O’Dell as their 2011 selected author for their Read Along the River Community Read Program. The author visit was October 21 at the Warren Public Library. She began her talk by thanking the representatives of the local libraries for their important work and their ability to continue on in spite of cutbacks in funding. The Public Library in her hometown of Indiana, PA, had recently closed due to lack of funding.

She refers to her books as her children. Si
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In just two novels Tawni O'Dell has secured herself as one of my favorite authors. I do hope that her prowess extends beyond coal mining towns, but even if it doesn't I will be happy to spend more time in her gritty, hard working, troubled world.

I can't really find the right words for this one yet, just that it wraps up so much about humanity, about women and mothers and sisters, and somehow does it without ever once feeling trite or overcooked. I absolutely LOVE that we get to know the characte
Sondra Meyer Raile
Although this is "chic lit" and an Oprah pick, I did enjoy this book. It's pretty well written and tells the story with a bit of wry humor that makes it more readable. The main character, Shea-Lynn, has endured physical abuse, betrayal, exploitation and abandonment yet perseveres with wit and nerve. Her sister, whom she raised when their mother died after childbirth, disappeared without a word decades previously, then suddenly reappears. The book takes off with a bit of mystery as we watch Shae- ...more
Apr 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I liked this book, largely because I came from the same area as Ms. O'Dell and enjoy how she writes with accuracy and authority about the culture, landscape, and people. I would have considered this her best book except for several problems that really bothered me, like the cheesy scene where she propositions the Marine--very poorly handled. I have a lot of problems with the final chapter but can't explain without spoilers. However, everything I did not like about the book is mentioned ...more
Rodney Farrell Sr
I hesitated in giving SISTER MINE a two-star rating but the story line was rambling and other times interesting. The ending was not as I expected nor was it climactic. I have read O'Dell's COAL RUN and enjoying the storyline of Western Pennsylvania and the coal culture. I have attended college and worked in this region and appreciate the contributions of coal miners and their families. Coal miners and families are hardworking and hard living. SISTER MINE does reflect this lifestyle. I will read ...more
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like characters with grit, and I love that even when they're incredibly flawed, you still root for them. This was not that book. The characters were so flawed that it was almost unreadable at times. This took me five weeks to finish, and though I'd like to say it took me so long b/c it was the start of the school year, the bottom line was that I just wasn't excited to read it. ...more
Becky Finfrock
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was captivated by this book and the characters. I kept wantng to know more about them and their backstories, which kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed reading it, but was a little underwhelmed with the ending, still a very good read though.
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished much better than I thought it would. Didn't like the cut-aways into past stories for Everyone. Just wanted the story to move along. But, when it did finally get going it was a good tale of love. ...more
Vannessa Anderson

Renee Raudman did a good job in storytelling.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great one by Tawni O'Dell. Her stories are very familiar yet distinct and original. I recommend them all. They all have a bit of drama and a bit of humor. ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really surprised me. On the first page, I thought, Oh yeah, I can read this, I liked the voice of Shae-Lynn. By the middle of the story I wasn't sure if there was even one likable character in it. By the end, I was totally appeased.

Shae-Lynn is quite a character. She dresses like a hooker at 40, runs her own taxi cab service in her bright yellow Subaru Outback for her job. There's not a real big call for rides in the small mining town of Jolly Mount. Shae-Lynn was formerly a cop and l
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the four O'Dell novels I've read I'd say this is the weakest so far. It still carries O'Dell's characteristic style of storytelling and her skill with characterization. The weak spot of this novel was the meandering thought. I thought it went a bit too far with the flashbacks and the mid-action stops to reflects for pages and pages on how we got here in the first place. Too heavy-handed and I can see many readers giving up before they really get to know the characters because the thought proc ...more
Donna Siebold
This isn't just a story about a dysfunctional family, it is a story about a dysfunctional family living in a dysfunctional town!

Warped childhoods lead to warped adult decisions. Doesn't seem to me that there should be a lot of judging going on considering the decisions most of these people make, but judging does indeed take up a large part of this book.

The area is more well executed than the human characters, in my opinion, but the story is interesting though there are significant times where I
Alex Black
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
Another of Tawni O'Dell's books that I just could not get into. She seems to excel at writing unpleasant characters who I don't care about in the slightest. More than anything, this book was a lot of cringe. I'm still not thrilled with her writing style, but I could enjoy it if I didn't hate her stories so much. At least this time I went in prepared for the rape and abuse that seems prevalent in everything she writes. ...more
Kathy Duffy
Apr 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent characters, small coal mining community -- the personal connections to each other, the miners to their jobs, the mine too the community, the family friends, the kids you grew up with.... and your siblings. Also bristles with the toxic relationships of some families and how it impacts the kids and how that comes out in adult life. Loved Shar-Lynn with her warmth and chip on her shoulder.
Shellie Kelly
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book that is a little like a mystery. A sister who disappeared 18 years ago shows up and has been living a life of deceit and has people after her. It takes place in the coal mine part of central Pennsylvania and the main character is Shae-Lynn who is tough and tries to find out what her sister has been up to all these years.
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brings me back to my younger days growing up in what had been primarily a coal town, only in northeaster Pennsylvania. Lots of reminders. Well-written story of a sister's love for her younger sister, even as older develops through her own series of life choices. ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio book and I really liked the reader. Descriptive enough I could envision the characters and the setting but not overly boring with too many details.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Good story line. Could have done without the explicit sex scenes and foul language.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good quick read. More light than her other stuff. Loved the characters. Nice transition when you've just read something heavy. ...more
Michelle Good
Dysfunctional family story.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great writing. Interesting story. I enjoyed the relationships between the characters.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tough story, not much to like about lead character, but liked supporting ones
Sheila Shaw
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable read and a great protagonist!
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not even close to the quality this author normally produces. There are interesting threads and some thoughtful connections, but in the end there isn't much to hang on to. ...more
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Tawni O'Dell is the New York Times bestselling author of Fragile Beasts, Sister Mine, Coal Run, and Back Roads, which was an Oprah's Book Club pick and a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection. Tawni's screen adaptation of Back Roads is currently in development to be made into a film with Adrian Lyne set to direct. Her work has been translated into 15 languages and been published in over 30 countri ...more

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“ A man spends his whole life trying to prove his worth to others. A woman spends her life trying to prove her worth to herself.” 36 likes
“She’s wearing the dreamy expression peculiar to the very old and the very young, where they seem fascinated by something everyone else takes for granted. People find the phenomenon adorable in babies. It means they’re inquisitive and intrigued by objects in their new world. In old people they usually chalk it up to senility, but I don’t think that’s the case. For both, it’s the ability to see things in their purest sense. All the knowledge that comes from experience doesn’t exist for a child and doesn’t matter anymore to an old lady. With a life completely in front of you or a life completely behind you, the world looks basically the same. She” 2 likes
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